Scenes From The Skeleton Twins Premiere

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Well, it happened, and you guys made it happen. The Skeleton Twins “won” the weekend according to IndieWire; it was the #1 film in 12 out of the 15 theaters where it played. Now it’s expanding to more cities–Seattle, Minneapolis, Dallas, Boston, San Diego, Palo Alto and San Jose next week–and will continue to grow if you all keep going out and supporting it.

On Wednesday, our families and friends and people who worked on the movie all gathered here at our apartment for a champagne toast before we all headed off to the premiere at the ArcLight Hollywood. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how it all went down.

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Make Your Own Taco Night (with Homemade Corn Tortillas)

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When you have a three year-old staying with you, chances are you’re probably not going out to dinner. We did go out one night and that’s a whole story in and of itself. Most nights, though, I cooked and that turned out to be a lot of fun, coming up with food to make for a small crowd (other friends dropped by in the hours leading up to dinner). One night, someone suggested going out for tacos and I responded, “I can make tacos right here!” Then I ran to the store and bought a bunch of stuff to prove that my homemade tacos would be just as good as whatever we’d get at a restaurant.

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Don’t Risk It, Make a Brisket (A Recipe)

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No matter what holiday you celebrate this holiday season, there’s going to be a dinner and since you’re reading a food blog right now, there’s a good chance people are going to expect YOU to make it. Your options will be fairly limited–people have certain expectations when it comes to holiday dinners–and in the canon of culinary techniques available to you, you’ll most likely choose roasting since that particular verb yields so many classic holiday dishes: roast beef, roast turkey, roast reindeer (see my banner.)

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Party Food

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Quick, rank the following from least important to most important, on the subject of “what makes a good New Year’s party”: a. food; b. music; c. decorations/lighting.

Many of us food lovers would like to believe that music and decorations rank less than food when it comes to a happy New Year’s eve, but now that I am the survivor of my very own New Year’s party–one that lasted into the wee hours and alienated us from our upstairs neighbors–I can say, with great confidence, the ranking goes like this: food is the least important, decorations matter more and music matters the most. (Actually, alcohol matters the most; but we’ll get to that later.)

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Gourmet’s Pre-Opening Preview of Susur Lee’s Shang

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If Gourmet Magazine ever invites you to a party–and I’m still not convinced Gourmet Magazine’s ever invited ME to a party, they must think I’m someone else–three words of advice: go go go!

First comes the fancy cardboard invitation in an envelope with erotic Chinese drawings; then there’s the event itself at the new Lower East Side restaurant Shang with a velvet rope and a walkie-talkie crew with clipboards checking for your name on a list. Then there’s the crowd–where to begin? In one corner, Tom Colicchio, in another corner, Calvin Trillin. Last night alone I spotted: David Chang, Daniel Boulud, Marco Canora, Rocco DiSpirit. Then I had a few celebrity chef encounters of my own, which I’ll tell you about after the jump.

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The Gourmet.com Launch Party at Bar Boulud

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Here are the people we saw last night at the Gourmet.com launch party at Bar Boulud:

– Calvin Trillin

– Mark Bittman

– Eric Ripert

– David Chang

– Jonathan Waxman

– Aaron Sanchez

– Michael Psilakis

– Rebecca Charles

– April Bloomfield

– Alfred Portale

– Joey Campanaro

– Daniel Boulud (it was his place, after all)

and, of course

– Ruth Reichl (it was her party).

To say the room was choc full of food celebs would be a profound understatement. I spent most of the party wandering around with Craig saying, “Whoah–do you know who that is? He’s/she’s a legend.” I also had fun chatting with all my food blogging cohorts–Ed Levine & The Serious Eats Team (Adam and Alaina), the Eater crew, Josh Ozersky. I befriended the managers of The Little Owl and Market Table (the latter of whom was freshman roommates with one of my college friends). I shook hands with Daniel and told him that one of his close friends was one of my favorite teachers in grad school (a true fact!); I kibitzed with Rebecca Charles who told me how she cooks a rib-eye at home (no oil, extremely hot pan, render the fat from the side of the meat first, then finish in the oven—oh and lots of coarse salt and pepper). It was a whirlwind of glitz and glamour, but mostly it was just passionate food people talking about food. And speaking of food, wait ’til you see the spread.

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Plastic Pork Shoulder

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Dear Suzanne Goin,

I love you and your book Sunday Suppers at Lucques. It’s the book I go to when I want to dazzle, when I want to blow my guests out of the water. On Friday, my guest would be none other than Lauren, a great friend and former roommate who was there at the dawn of my website: she knew me when “uh oh” was a more common cooking exclamation than “a-ha.” This would be the first time I’d cook for her in three years, years in which my cooking has improved immeasurably. I wanted to knock her socks off and so I turned to your book.

The recipe I went for was the “Spiced Pork Stew with Polenta, Root Vegetables, and Gremolata.” I decided to nix the root vegetables and gremolata and focus on the pork: Lauren is a big fan of chili and I wanted this to be a kind-of highbrow chili experience. Well not highbrow, necessarily, just impressive. And I know it’s not really that chili-like, but slow-cooked pork shoulder with coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds should please any chili-lover, shouldn’t it?

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